The United States has praised “positive steps” taken by Pakistan in recent days with respect to last month’s Mumbai attacks, which culminated in the arrests of 22 people in a raid on a relief camp in the Pakistani-held portion of Kashmir. Among those arrested was Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who has been accused of being a key planner of the Mumbai attacks.
But Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi says there is no question of handing over the detainees to India, saying rather that they will be tried in Pakistani courts under Pakistani law. In an opinion piece published in today’s New York Times, President Asif Ali Zardari said the Sunday raid demonstrated that “Pakistan will take action against the non-state actors found within our territory.”
The Indian government has demanded Pakistan hand over 20 people after the attacks, but were refused. The two nations have no extradition treaty with one another, and Minister Qureshi says Pakistan has no wish for a war with India, but is prepared to defend itself in the event of an attack.